NATIONWIDE WINNERS — Laborers' Local 169 Business Manager Skip Daly, left, his predecessor Dan Rusnak, right, and safety flagger Cheri Corless with the Flagger Moms of Orange Cone Hell first-place national award. Daly, who retired in 2022, went on to serve four terms as a member of the Nevada State Assembly representing Sparks and the North Valleys of Washoe County. He was elected to a four-year term in the Nevada State Senate in 2022.

About the Editor

Betty J. Barbano
2-7-1941 / 12-27-2005


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Pirate Laureate of the High Desert Outback of the American Dream

Andrew Barbano is a 55-year Nevadan who invaded Reno from Gomorrah South many moons ago.

The Dean's List

   The Dean of Reno Bloggers could very well be Andrew Barbano, self-described "fighter of public demons," who started putting his "Barbwire" columns online in 1996 and now runs 10 sites.

RENO NEWS & REVIEW, 11-9-2006

Barbwire wins 11th Nevada Press Association award

Tribune voted best editorial page 2020

GOLD 2017-18

2018 First-Place Winners

From the depths of despair to the den of iniquity & holy of holies

"Excellent work. These are some of the most moving columns I've read."
— NPA contest judge/9-29-201

The Grasshopper and
the Dragonfly


Kicked off the Ledge

Back to the Future in
Mississippi West Nevada


2017 First-Place Winners
Don't ask Renown Med for marijuana to help your chemo
We Don't Need No Education
Toxic turf threat ignored

Kate Smith & Lady Gaga

Bronze 6-pack
In the Uber-Nevada legislature, words can kill
On artificial turf, don't breathe unless absolutely necessary
Leading questions, lead-headed leaders

Hopelessly trying to win an earthquake
2013 Loony Tunes Legislative Lexicon
The politics of media ga-ga boosterism

Barbwire wins third straight Nevada Press Association first-place award.
Now we go for the sombrero.

The 2009 first-place Nevada Press Association award winners
Tony the Tiger & the flaky NFL
Barbwire / 11-30-2008
Deregulation is never having to say you're sorry
Barbwire / 8-3-2008
Nevada: A good place to visit, but do you want to live here?
Barbwire / 6-15-2008

Trib columnists go at each other
Daily Sparks Tribune 1-4-2009
(The above link is now broken. Stay tuned for a fresh upload.)

His longtime column, Barbwire by Barbano, has won six golds, one silver and four bronze from the Nevada Press Association.
(See right.—>)

GRADUATION RATES ON STEROIDS —> The Barbwire was a full year ahead of the Las Vegas Vegas Review-Journal (Nevada's largest newspaper) and more than two years ahead of the Reno Gazette-Journal in documenting how Clark and Washoe County school superintendents had for years published artificially-inflated graduation rates. See the ever-expanding We Don't Need No Education Archive.

Mr. Barbano's investigative series on the University and Community College System of Nevada was entered in two categories of the 1997 Pulitzer Prize competition by his home newspaper, the Sparks Tribune.

Barbano's ongoing investigation of retail gasoline price-rigging was named number two among The Top Five Censored Nevada Stories of All Time by the Reno News & Review (4-2-1997)

The Barbwire has originated in the Tribune since Aug. 12, 1988, has appeared occasionally in almost all Nevada newspapers, and expanded to the Internet on Nevada Day, 1996. Barbano's writing and photography have been published in regional and national media including the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Legal Journals (accurately predicting the behavior of Justice Clarence Thomas), Newsweek, Advertising Age, Woman's World, CNN, The New York Times, The Guardian of London/UK, The Fresno Bee and affiliates of the Associated Press.

In recognition of his decades of service, the Reno-Sparks NAACP honored Mr. Barbano with the organization's 2015 Community Activist Award at its 70th Annual Freedom Fund Awards Banquet on Oct. 24, 2015. At the event, Barbano also acted as co-presenter (with former Branch President Eddie Scott) of the Inaugural Eddie Scott/Bertha Woodard Human Rights Advocacy Award. The prestigious prize went to the editors, journalists and staff of the Reno News & Review for their internationally recognized work on police-involved homicides (Fatal Encounters); When Hate Comes to Town, a history of area hate crimes, and their story documenting the virulent and overt racism of Nevada State Assembly Speaker-designate Ira Hansen, R-Sparks.

WORLDWIDE 15 MINUTES: Citing Dennis Myers' RNR story as well as his previously published Tribune Barbwire column exposé, Barbano wrote and disseminated the NAACP press release which caused Mr. Hansen to step down. It was distributed nationwide by the Las Vegas Review-Journal just 51 minutes after initial upload to Nevada media and went international from there. Barbano's story ran in news outlets from Maui to Florida, from the Post to the Times to the Guardian of London/UK.

Barbano chaired the 2018 NAACP Freedom Fund Banquet, complete with a pink Cadillac to honor Aretha. He reprised the role in 2019, alas, minus the car.

He was the longtime executive producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Celebration, the last of which was keynoted in 2019 by Gov. Steve Sisolak.

After a pandemic-caused hiatus, he proudly turned the event over to the Northern Nevada Central Labor Council/AFL-CIO. At César XVIII on April 5, 2024, Myers and Barbano were inducted into the César Chávez Nevada Labor Hall of Fame.

On April 23, 2002, Barbano was honored as 2001 Columnist of the Year at the annual awards banquet of the Reno Media Press Club, succeeding the previous winner, the late Rollan Melton of the Reno Gazette-Journal. Barbano has more than five decades of experience in all forms of mass communication. He has garnered professional awards for excellence in print, radio and television advertising.

His multi-media road construction zone safety campaign, The Flagger Moms of Orange Cone Hell, won a 2001 first-place award in a nationwide competition sponsored by the National Safety Council and the American Road & Transportation Builders Association. He handled media for the successful 1994 Flamingo Hilton-Reno organizing drive, the first basically wall-to-wall northern Nevada hotel-casino union victory in two decades.

Since 1985, Mr. Barbano has produced and hosted news and public affairs radio and television shows in Sacramento/San Francisco, Reno/Sparks and Carson City. In 1993, he produced and hosted a four-day series on Reno-Sparks local elections, the first live call-in political talk TV in northern Nevada and possibly in the state.

Barbano on the Barbwire became a daily live cable television and Internet call-in show in June, 2008. The program provided an innovative meld of live phone calls and chat crawls, a confluence of talk radio, talk TV and the best of the net.

On the radio, Barbano on the Barbwire defeated Rush Limbaugh head-to-head.

Mr. Barbano was a regular commentator on Sam Shad's statewide Nevada Newsmakers radio-TV-webcast program for more than two decades.

Barbano produced, syndicated and co-anchored the worldwide Long Beach GrandPrix Formula One Motoracing Radio Network in English and Spanish from 1976 through 1978.

His company also filmed the SCCA/Citicorp CanAm (Canadian-American) motoracing series for TV syndication. His sports marketing background additionally includes major league baseball, professional motorsports teams (see Paul Newman: Driven Star), collegiate and Olympic-level wrestling, auto, home and RV shows.

In 1991, the Reno City Council appointed him to the founding board of Sierra Nevada Community Access Television (SNCAT). In September, 2002, Mr. Barbano persuaded the Reno City Council to form a cable television consumer advisory board. On Nov. 19, 2002, the council named him to a three-year term on the panel. On Dec. 11, 2002, his fellow appointees elected him chairman. He was re-elected to the chairmanship in 2003, elected secretary in his third year and served until February, 2005.

He has long been active in Nevada progressive and consumer causes as well as advocating for the rights of the mentally disabled. In 1980, he managed a statewide initiative petition which impelled the 1981 Nevada State Legislature to establish the state's first office of consumer advocacy, a law 20 years in the making. Over the past four decades, that entity has saved millions of dollars for large and small utility ratepayers. Concurrent with lobbying the enabling legislation, Mr. Barbano managed consumer intervention against Sierra Pacific Power, southern Nevada's Nevada Power and northeastern Nevada's C.P. National Corp. All are today part of Warren Buffet's NV Energy. The rate cases and takeover proceedings were conducted before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Nevada utility regulators, state and local governments.

Mr. Barbano has been a member of California and Nevada Culinary Union locals as both a worker and organizer. He is a longtime member of statewide Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO, the longest-established labor organization in the state and the union of Mark Twain. Barbano served as the union's legislative chair during the 2001 Nevada legislative session.

He manages advertising, news, public relations and websites for a wide range of Nevada worker and public interest organizations. He has managed campaigns and/or performed media services for ballot questions, presidential, state and local candidates spanning the public affairs spectrum. He has originated websites for a wide range of candidates, officeholders and community organizations.

Mr. Barbano is the editor and publisher of, the Silver State's first and still only comprehensive workplace website, now in its 29th year. A quarter-century member of the Reno-Sparks NAACP, he served 10 years as vice-president and political action chair. He currently sits on the branch's executive committee.

In 1998, Mr. Barbano served as gubernatorial campaign manager for State Sen. Joe Neal, D-North Las Vegas. In 1999, he organized Casinos Out of Politics (COP). He worked on Sen. Neal's successful 2000 re-election campaign and his concurrent statewide casino tax initiative. In September, 2002, Sen. Neal, the state's first African-American state senator, again made Nevada history by winning the Democratic primary and becoming the first African-American to advance to a general election as his party's gubernatorial nominee. Sen. Neal was defeated by incumbent Republican Kenny Guinn in the general election and returned to the state senate as its senior Democrat in the 2003 session. Sen. Neal retired in 2004 after 32 years of service. Sen. Neal passed away on New Year's Eve 2020 but continues to make major impacts at both the legislature and in statewide politics. [Read much more about it.]

In 1991, during Bush the Elder's Gulf War One, Barbano monitored a military short-wave transmission from the eastern hemisphere which raised his suspicions about the new Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) System. That happenstance led to his worldwide scoop that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein could have easily used the Pentagon's surprisingly unscrambled GPS System to aim his SCUD missiles at US forces as well as Israel. Barbano published his results in The Daily Sparks Tribune and via his Barbano on the Barbwire news/talk/rock radio show. His story was confirmed by The Washington Post six months later.

In 1984, Mr. Barbano was the Democratic nominee in Nevada's statewide second congressional district. From 1971 to 1981, he served on the executive board of the Northern Nevada Multiple Sclerosis Society, during which time it became the highest per capita fund raiser of any chapter in the country.

In 1972, he was honored as Sertoman of the Year by Reno's Comstock Sertoma Club for his involvement in all of the organization's wide-ranging community service activities.

Andrew Barbano was a California Scholarship Federation honors student all four years at San Joaquin Memorial High School in Fresno, Calif., where he published a hand-written newspaper as a sophomore.

His first electronic media experience came as football halftime announcer for the Fresno State Bulldogs. In addition to the Fresno State Marching Band, he played trumpet with the VFW Post 8900 Marching Band.

He graduated from Fresno State in 1968 with a bachelor's degree in business administration, moving to Las Vegas in 1969 to work through the summer.

The endless summer continues...

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Ain't we a pair?
Dennis Myers & Andrew Barbano inducted into César Chávez Nevada Labor Hall of Fame
Barbwire by Andrew Quarantino Barbáno
Expanded from the Sparks Tribune 4-10-2024

What a long, strange trip it's been.
12 August 2017: On August 12, 1988, Barbwire by Barbano first appeared in the Daily Sparks Tribune.
Peruse the sordid story of how it came to pass lo, those many years ago.
Step into the Wayback Machine: The Nun's Story, the tale of the first Barbwire



Betty J. Barbano, 1941-2005

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